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Massachusetts foreclosure starts continue to rise

Massachusetts foreclosure starts continued to rise in September, jumping 61 percent from the same month a year before.

Lenders filed 1,179 foreclosure petitions last month in land court, compared to 734 recorded a year before, according to the Warren Group, a Boston real estate publisher. In the first nine months of the years, forceclosure filings are up 57 percent compared to the same period in 2014.

Timothy Warren Jr., the chief executive of the Warren Group, said lenders are still working through backlogs from recent years. The foreclosure pipeline slowed from March 2013 to March 2014 as lenders awaited to outcome of court cases and regulatory decisions that would affect the foreclosure process, Warren said. In some cases, the foreclosures were delayed while borrowers sought help from state and federal homeowner assistance programs. he said.

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"We are not seeing a new wave of homeowners unable to pay their mortgage debt," Warren said in a statement.

Not all initiated foreclosures are completed. Some homeowners successfully negotiate a compromise with their lender, while others end up selling their homes before the process is completed. The number of completed foreclosures in Massachusetts rose less drastically, hitting 551, up 9 percent from the 504 recorded in September 2014. For the first nine months of 2015, the number of completed foreclosures was 28 percent higher than the same period in 2014.


Jack Newsham can be reached at jack.newsham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.